VA To Hold Off On Sharing Medical Records After Veterans' Lawsuit Says It Violated Privacy

ConnectingVets Radio - A group of veterans filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs in an attempt to stop it from sharing veterans' health records with third parties, saying it violates veterans' Constitutional rights.

At a court hearing on Wednesday, VA agreed to hold off on sharing those records until at least Jan. 1, 2020, retired Navy Commander John Wells told Connecting Vets. Wells is the litigation director of Military-Veterans Advocacy, the group that filed the lawsuit.

Military-Veterans Advocacy, the same organization responsible for a lawsuit looking to push VA to provide benefits to Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans, filed the suit dated Sept. 30 asking the court to stop VA from sharing veterans' medical records without permission. 

Wells said some veterans received mailed notices from VA with a Sept. 30 deadline to opt-out of sharing their records. But veterans didn't receive the notices until the end of September. That deadline was part of the impetus for the lawsuit, he said.

But after the suit was filed and ahead of the hearing Wednesday, Wells said VA began changing information on its website -- the department now said it would not begin sharing veterans' records until January.


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